Best Places to Fish in California

By Takemefishing.

With so many options for fishing in California, it can be hard to settle on the right place for you and the type of species you’re after. Get tips on where to fish in California for a successful day on the water.


Whether you’re planning to go freshwater fishing in California or head to the coast, you need to be aware of the state’s rules for anglers. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife publishes two sets of regulations that you should familiarize yourself with every year: one for ocean sport fishing and one for freshwater. Perhaps the most important requirement is that all anglers who are 16 or older must have a valid fishing license, except for those fishing from a public pier in ocean or bay waters. Those under 16 or anglers fishing on the state’s Free Fishing Days must still purchase appropriate report cards depending on the species being fished. There are numerous other regulations for possession, fishing methods, bait, hours and more, so be sure to review the information before you go out on the water.


Freshwater fishing in California is a favorite pastime of many anglers in the state. And with good reason: there are thousands of lakes, streams and reservoirs to choose from, filled with popular species like bass. While the possibilities for freshwater fishing are nearly endless, there are some places that stand out when deciding where to fish in California. Among the most popular spots are:

    • Castaic Lake: A great destination for bass, this LA-area spot is a go-to destination for trophy largemouth bass.
    • Clear Lake: In Northern California, this body of water near Sacramento is another plentiful largemouth bass spot.
    • Lake Shasta: Whether you’re after bass, trout or salmon Lake Shasta has them all along with a variety of other species.
    • Lake Tahoe: Located on the New Mexico border, this popular lake is abundant with trout as well as salmon when you head to deeper waters.